Nebulas (NAS) ICO Analysis: A Decentralized Search Engine For The Blockchain

Executive Summary

Project Description

Nebulas wants to create a search engine for blockchain applications and smart contracts. With it, users on the blockchain can easily search for, and find, whatever DApps they need. The Nebulas system will be self-evolving based on value incentive, and a ranking system, called Nebulas Rank, will be used to measure the value of users, smart contracts, and DApps. The ranking system will be based on liquidity, transaction frequency, scale, propagation, user growth, network quality (including viral transmission), and interoperability (including interaction with higher dimension information).

Nebulas will also have a Proof of Devotion system where users with a Nebulas Rank higher than a pre-set threshold can be a “bookkeeper” on the platform. Bookkeepers will be able generate blocks, and receive block rewards and transaction fees. To be a bookkeeper, a user has to deposit a security deposit, which is lost upon acting maliciously. Furthermore, developers whose smart contracts or DApps have a Nebulas Rank higher than a pre-set threshold will be rewarded by the Developer Incentive Protocol with NAS; these rewards will be recorded by the bookkeepers.

With the help of Nebulas Force, the Nebulas platform is self-evolving, meaning there is no need for a fork. Additionally, there is a governance system and users can vote on upgrades for the main chain. Various other sub-chains are also created to activate core technical solutions and upgrades.

Nebulas’ token, NAS, will serve as a means of exchange between chains on the platform. It will also serve as the currency of use, e.g. to deposit the security amount, for voting in the governance system, and for rewarding developers.

Hard Cap and Valuation

There will be a total of 100 million NAS, and Nebulas was able to raise $60m for 30% of the token total. The remaining 70% is shared thus: 10% is up for an initial funding round, 5% goes to Nebulas’ foundation, 35% is kept in the community reserve, and the final 20% is for the team and advisors.

The team tokens are on a 3-year vesting schedule, reducing the available supply after the sale to 80% of the total amount.

Important Dates

Pre-sale started on December 1, 2017 and ended on December 16, 2017

Marketing Power

As at the time this post was published, Nebulas had over 2200 Telegram users, 400+ users on Slack, over 1700 Twitter followers, and 90 subscribers on Medium. They also have 80+ subscribers on their YouTube page, over 70 Facebook subscribers, and over 40 Reddit readers.

Howey’s Test

According to Howey’s Test conducted by our analysts, it is unlikely that Nebulas’ token NAS will be considered a security.

Team Members’ Areas of Expertise

Business experts

Hitters Xu, Founder.

  • Founder, and CEO of GemPay for over 2 years.
  • Founder of NEO blockchain.
  • Founder, and CEO of Netarget Info. Tech. for over 5 years.

Robin Zhong, Co-Founder.

Aero Wang, Co-Founder.

  • Founder of Antshares (NEO).

Target market experts

Hitters Xu

  • Founding Director, Ant Financial’s blockchain platform at Ant (now known as NEO) for 9 months.
  • GemPay also was a blockchain project.

Robin Zhong

  • Architecture of Blockchain Platform at Ant for 7 months.
  • Zhong gained some experience from his time at ABC Fintech, a startup focused on AI and blockchain.

Aero Wang

  • Experienced from his 2 years+ stay at Antshares (NEO).

Marketing experts

No team members with notable marketing experience.

Legal experts

Registered in Singapore as a foundation.

Software engineering experts

Robin Zhong

  • Senior Director of Engineering at MoboTap for 4 years.
  • VP, Cloud Computing Products at XMind for over 3 years.
  • CTO & Acting COO at BestPlus for a year.
  • SQA Engineer at Trend Micro for over 2 years.

Duran Liu, Head of Engineering.

  • Senior Software Engineer at Google for over 6 years.
  • Senior Software Engineer at FreeWheel for almost 2 years.
  • Software Engineer for over a year, and before that, Software Engineer Intern for a year at IBM.

Qi Zhu, Core Developer.

  • Engineering Manager for a year, and before that, Software Engineer for over a year at Airbnb.
  • Senior Software Engineer at Google for over 9 years.
  • Software Development Engineer at Microsoft Research Asia for 4 months.

Yang Li, Core Developer.

  • Senior Engineer at Genshuixue for a year.
  • Senior Engineer at MoboTap for 2 years.
  • Senior Software Engineer at Baozun for 2 years.

Larry Wang, Full Stack Developer.

  • Senior Software Development Engineer at Alibaba for over a year.
  • Senior Software Engineer and Project Lead at Edaijia for 2 years.
  • Development Engineer at MoboTap for over 2 years.

Shu Shang, Core Developer.

Blockchain development experts

Robin Zhong, Co-Founder.

  • Architecture of Blockchain Platform at Ant (as mentioned above).
  • CTO at ABC Fintech (as mentioned above).

Token sale structure

Almost all the members of the Nebulas team have token sale experience from their time at Ant (NEO).

Token economics

In addition to the experience garnered from their time at Ant, some team members also worked on blockchain projects like Gempay and ABC Fintech. As a result, there is lots of token economics experience in the Nebulas team.


  • Nothing written in this article is a legal or an investment advice.
  • Information is provided on a best-effort basis and is subject to change without prior notice. Be sure to verify everything you read with a project team.

The analysis was produced by Research Center team members: Robin Davids, Mark Jedd, Eugene Tartakovsky.

We are constantly working on improving our work and welcome all constructive feedback. Let us know what you think.

Follow us to receive regular reports!